Does WordPress have it’s first real challenger in Craft CMS?

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WordPress has been around for a LOOONG time at this point and to date it seems to have pretty much stolen the limelight for end-user friendly content management systems. Well today we are going to take a look at the pretty awesome Craft CMS. Let us weigh in how and where Craft might have the advantage and vice versa, where WordPress might be a better fit for your needs.

Let’s dive in.

Architecture

WordPress was originally built to be a blogging site and it did the job so well that many adopted it as their number 1 blogging platform. For many, there was no other, WordPress was THE original blogging platform. WordPress made it very, very easy to start your own blog site with zero coding skills. As it became more popular, many developers started building plugins and extending the possibilities. Today WordPress has come a very long way from being a humble blogging tool. It can be a powerful online store, membership management system, auction tool, events management software and even a social networking solution similar to the likes of Facebook.

Unlike WordPress, Craft CMS on the other hand has been designed with no assumptions of what type of website it will become. This gives Craft CMS an edge over Wordpress. If you are building a website that is actually far from being a blog, you can avoid uneeded overheads in the scripting that was intended for a blog site and overall can get better flexibility using Craft.

Filters/Hooks vs M-V-C

WordPress uses filters and hooks for custom development which, for me, works nicely but can at times be a little bit on the messy side. Craft, on the other hand, uses a more modern MVC approach. MVC separates the working files for the [M] Model (data) from the [V] View (front-end html/css/js) from the [C] Controller (actual programming logic). MVC is cleaner and easier to work with especially when you have multiple programmers with different roles e.g. a programmer for front-end, a programmer for the backend and a person that designs the data models.

I’d say Craft is the winner in this are.

Performance

As previously mentioned, WordPress is designed to be a blogging tool. Using it for any purpose other than a blog site definitely can work but perhaps not as efficiently as it could be used. As mentioned, you can get a lot of code overhead that you might not really need for say a simple brochure site. For example you need to design your data model on top of the WordPress database schema built for blogging.

If you are building a blog site with Craft CMS and compare the performance with WordPress, you might not notice a difference in terms of speed and performance, however if you are building a website other than a blog, you will clearly see a big difference in performance and even more so as your website grows in size and content.

I’d say Craft is the winner in this area

Community Support

Community support in WordPress is surely unbeatable at this point in the game. You can find a developer just about anywhere you look. You can find ready-made themes and some  are truly awesome! You will be surprised to find plugins for just about anything you can dream up. It is simply awesome, BUT you do need to also be very careful. Since wordpress is open-source, it is very easy to use this platform for spreading malicious scripts. In my experience as a developer a great many WordPress sites installed on shared servers get infected every now and then. It’s critical that you schedule a monthly maintenance check up on your shared server hosted wordpress sites.

Craft CMS in my opinion will be less likely to get infected with these malicious scripts as it plugins are carefully screened before they get listed into the plugins store (not to say that WordPress doesn’t do their best to protect against this too). Craft CMS is probably not yet as popular as WordPress, so it is also less likely to be a target for these malicious scripts.

I’d say WordPress is the winner in this area

Maintenance Cost

Server cost will most likely be the same, but the cost of developers will likely be significantly different.

As mentioned previously, skilled WordPress developers are in abundance. With Craft CMS uou may need to be a little more patient when looking for experienced developers simply because there may be fewer of them around. That likely also means they will be asking for higher rates than WordPress developers.

I’d say WordPress is the winner in this area

Conclusion

If you need a blog website up and running immediately, aren’t TOO concerned with site speed and clean architecture and you don’t want to shell out too much money, WordPress might be better for you. On the other hand, if you need a website that will grow and evolve over time and perhaps grow a strong user base, then choose Craft CMS, especially for marketing/content focused websites.

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